General Discussion Forum.

What keeps people coming back to sdcompo?

The people / community
2
17%
The song feedback / comments
5
42%
The songs / listening
0
No votes
The opportunity to write music
5
42%
The samplepacks
0
No votes
The girls
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 12

What keeps people coming back to sdcompo more?

What keeps people coming back to sdcompo more?

Postby Sonicade » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:27 pm

What can we do to make sdcompo more fun for everyone?
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Postby keith303 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:51 pm

i clicked "the song feedback / comments", because that's what i've been coming here in the first place back in the days, and without that aspect, there would hardly be any fun.

even though there are a lot of musicians out there that claim to write the music just for theirself, and i believe that for some of'em this might even be true, i however think that most of us would get unmotivated and uninspired without any feedback at all. afterall it's the feedback of other human beings which gives the uncommercial writing of music a deeper sense.

but in order to recruit new contestants that participate in sdcompo, which is probably more crucial, i think something else has to happen.

i fear that the page and its appearance has become a bit shopworn throughout the years. i know it's most probably a pain in the ass to come up with a total site refresh.. but i think a sleeker, more plain and contemporary appearance would help attracting new and keep existing participants.
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Postby chunter » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:59 pm

Agreeing with the above, it's all about the feedback. The length of the work/vote periods works well for me too, because compared to shorter formats you get more time to polish and aren't completely out of luck if you get too busy to create for a week.

I agree that perhaps the look here is a bit, er, of the period, but I'm not a very visually driven person so I don't have much to suggest besides perhaps getting rid of links and refrences to deprecated concepts (like the votepack button) and maybe choosing a new color scheme just to get the poverbial creative juices going.
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Postby organic io » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:44 am

I voted community. While song feedback is definitely important and high up there in my list, the community is probably the greatest aspect of it for me. If it weren't for this place, I would have never met ambtax1 who has been a great support to me over the years and is now one of my best friends. :D

Lots of other good friendships have developed from this place as well... You guys are all really great! Without the community itself, there would be no competition or song feedback :)

As far as getting new people interested... I know we have discussed the idea of prizes before. Should we discuss it again?

One model to go by is KVR's One Synth Challenge --> http://sites.google.com/site/kvrosc/
It has prizes and the compo is about the same size and scope as us. The prizes are stuff like vst plugins donated by the various plugin authors. It benefits the plugin authors to do this because it gives them a little bit of publicity. So it's a win-win for everybody.

What do you think Sonicade? We could try it for a round or two and see how it goes?
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Postby Sonicade » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:55 pm

Thank you guys, this is all great feedback. The look has definitely felt dated for awhile now. I've been pre-occupied with other things and haven't had time to put together a plan to build a new site. Lately I've been focusing more on broadening my web skills so we'll see if I can come up with a way to rebuild the site.

In the meantime I'm glad to take any suggestions from you guys as to what are the best factors about SDCompo and what would keep people returning or gain new participators.

Re: Feedback
Yes definitely feedback has always been one most valuable aspects of the compo besides the music itself. The feedback system will be one of the higher priorities when redesigning the site. It would be fun (and should be easy) to integrate some social networking as well which could be fun. Sharing your compo round placing or a particularly helpful comment on fb or g+ would be neat.

Re: Prizes
I've always thought this would a fun idea. We just never were at a point where we thought it would be justifiable to put money into. That said if we want to reach out to instrument devs for one of the VST rounds I'd be all for it.

I know Renoise continues to see strong development and the community is still very active. Should we be appealing more to the Renoise forums or perhaps open up to other format communities?
Maybe even broaden the compo to accept any type of project file, tracked or otherwise?

These are some ideas I've bounced around. We've also got a strong archive of killer tunes entered in SDCompo. It was awesome of Organic_IO to put together that 5th Anniversary show on Remixta.net together with Suva. Any ideas on ways we could further promote the tunes at SDCompo would be an interesting discussion too.

Thanks for getting the discussion going and sharing your input for the SDCompo community.
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Postby organic io » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:49 am

Sonicade wrote:Maybe even broaden the compo to accept any type of project file, tracked or otherwise?


I'm not so sure about this.... It may draw more people, but it would also take away the "scene-ness" of it. There's just something charming about tracker-based communities, that I think would be lost if it was opened up to other formats. For one thing, it would be a lot less practical to view the source files of other peoples' music. You'd have to install other programs you don't even necessarily use -- Some of which may be commercial software so you wouldn't even be able to view the source.


Also while putting together the current Renoise knock-out tournament, I decided to divide up the rules into several sections. It looks like this:
http://www.renoise.com/board/index.php?/topic/31014-renoise-knock-out-3-hour-tournament-round-1-starting-july-6/

I think the list of rules on SDcompo has gotten a little bit overwhelming to look at (OK, I know this is partially my fault what with all the co-op voting cheat-prevention clarification verbosity :D )... But I wonder if the long list may deter possible newcomers? So it may help just to reorganize the list into a few discreet sections so people can kind of scan down to the parts they need to see.
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Postby gilli » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:52 am

About broadening sdc to non-tracked formats I mostly agree with io.
However, a chance to measure the quality of tracked songs against non-tracked ones is really appealing. But this would have to be done in a different competition I think.

Should we be appealing more to the Renoise forums

Personally I changed from the Renoise community to the sdc community. Renoise is bound to a commercial interest, thus its users have a different focus than just sharing selfmade music. We should be open to other communities but in an inviting way. We should be able to show the potential of songs made in sdc. The sdc forum should become attractive to other communities, provide quality and knowledge. I thought of having an SDC wiki. Our artists here could provide tutorials and tricks for composing songs, making a great mastering, creating this and that effect, teach something about harmonies/melodies, explain singing/vocal techniques, explain how to record an instrument (the new rule that allows personal perfomances adds so much worth to the compo).

Having mentioned these examples, I didn't mention which artists could do this, so they don't feel forced to do something now. But well, you can think of them and how much attention their articles would receive.

Also I belive, the results of a passed round could be listed on the main page, e.g. with an embedded longtail player. So once someone visits SDC, he can immediately get an impression of how the entries sound here. And as an artist one would try to compose something that can impress those visitors that are having a go through the playlist.
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Postby Airmann » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:32 pm

Hey guys,

I love:
- the opportunity to write music
- the feedbacks and the community
- listening and commenting to other entries

I also think some "modernizing" or modifications from time to time
would be great, but I don't think it's the core factor.

I think it heavily depends on every single person and his/her music.

I also think some higher goal - like e.g. an annual "best of" release -
would be appealing.
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Postby organic io » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:27 am

gilli wrote:Also I belive, the results of a passed round could be listed on the main page, e.g. with an embedded longtail player. So once someone visits SDC, he can immediately get an impression of how the entries sound here. And as an artist one would try to compose something that can impress those visitors that are having a go through the playlist.


A player on the main page is the best idea I've heard yet! It's both modern, and practical. You can't go wrong with that
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Postby Andy:Ray » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:52 pm

I'm thinking some kind of newsletter and/or other way to keep registered
people updated of the goings on... and that would also function as a reminder of sdcompo´s existence...
How many people have registered an account here and how many of them participate?
Maybe all they need is a red string tied around their index finger... :-)

next thing... more free rounds! (meaning use whatever sounds you like)
If you look back I bet my 'ol hat that you'll find that the rounds with the least participation is the rounds with
the strictest rules/ themes or whatever and the ones with the highest turnup is the less restricted ones...
You know that I like limitations so you understand that I'm not saying this out of my own interest... Im just trying to pinpoint a problem

what say you?

//Andy
I go where you dare not go...
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Postby cralias » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:07 am

I've learned a lot through feedback of my stuff and the compositions of others; can't say I've put them into practice but that's another story.

I'd gladly contribute more to the encouraging and analytical comments, like Airmann & nt often do (thanks!). But I'm quite afraid to fail at that. I'm not an artist nor a performer. Music thing is not my main hobby, I'm moved by emotions of the moment more than skills.

Give or take a bit, it's pretty much everything mentioned on the list, even samplepacks usually have some gems in it. Oh, except those girls are a rare sight, SDC could definitely use an improvement in that area :P

I had to single out one option. For me that was the opportunity to write music. I'll admit that I hardly write anything apart from SDC entries. I have a bunch of unfinished (and unlikely to ever be finished) "prototypes" but that's it.

I'll concur that the design of the site is somewhat not-up-to-date (can't find the word but yeah...). I'm, however, strongly against having form over function. Some new ideas (that long running achievements thing) would be great to have, all that, however, requires much time. If we don't have it, we don't have it, everyone has a life to live, things to do.

A bit depressing that an empty entry had to be added in some previous rounds for voting to work. I guess that compo spirit has faded, restrictions & limits really do move people away. People look down at the SDC as a bunch of sample-based tracker oldschoolers. For me it's a good thing, it's what attracted me to the thing in the first place. Perhaps times have changed...
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Postby chunter » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:34 pm

cralias wrote:Music thing is not my main hobby, I'm moved by emotions of the moment more than skills.


There is nothing wrong with commenting about that too- "I think this piece does a good job of making its point," or "I'm not sure where you were going with this," is meaningful... and I'm pretty sure I've read comments like that, though I don't remember if they came from you or not.

All the same, all the technical skill in the world doesn't amount to much if you don't have an idea to share. A teacher I had used to say that the point of frequent composing exercises are so that when you reach that point where you have to find that proverbial dark place inside you where all the unique ideas are (in the interest of making money in his context,) you'll be able to find it right away.

---

Another point I wanted to bring up in this thread is, and I hope this forum won't break the link, this: http://reg.s63.xrea.com/index.php?%E9%96%A2%E9%80%A3%E3%82%B3%E3%83%A9%E3%83%A0

and a bit less so, this: http://2chlabel.org/group/renoise

Summarized in case the link breaks, there is a Japanese translation of our rules on the Renoise unofficial-support-for-Japanese-language site. The question I want to raise is, why aren't we seeing more Japanese flags on our user list?

I know part of the answer to this from participation in FamiCompo Mini; I think the best word to describe it is "shyness," and I relate to it- the accounts that I have for social sites based in Japan (you may have noticed my avatar in the 2chlabel.org link, I also have a nico-nico-douga account) are dormant because I'm not sure what to say that won't get mangled in Google Translate (or not add anything useful besides that some guy in another country liked the user's stuff.) Bilingual participants in FamiCompo have said that the Japanese participants in the contest are aware of other things we do, mentioning Battle of the Bits by name. I'm surprised BOTB has as international a turnout as it does, its rules are complex and difficult. SDCompo is easy to understand by comparison.

Perhaps this is a problem that cannot be solved. It is nice to notice that perhaps more people hear our work than we realize, even if they can't tell us.

Maybe this round's turnout is proof that entry is as easy as it can be.
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Postby Sonicade » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:31 pm

Thanks everyone for the continued feedback. I'm following this thread closely!

Andy:Ray, newsletter and free rounds ideas noted. Planning to have a mailing list as one of the upgrades to the site. Would be awesome to see articles contributed by compo artists.

Cralias, site design is definitely on of the main drawbacks. Looking into it. Although some rounds have lower participation than others, there is still a talented community that continues to enter. As long as people keep entering, I'll keep hosting.

p.s. regarding tune feedback, I had an inhibition about leaving feedback for a long time myself. I came to realize that people really want feedback, even if it's similar to others. If 5 people say the lead is great that feels better than 3 person saying it. Even if you don't address technical aspects, sharing your personal opinion of what you liked and disliked in a positive constructive way is meaningful to the author. Length is not a worry either, short is fine. Use the sandwich approach, something good, something to improve, something good.

Chunter, thanks for Satobox's Japanese translation link. I've added it to the rules page. I think expanding the audience of SDCompo would be a huge reason for more people to enter. Anyone with ideas on ways we can do that please share!
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Postby stardiaries » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:57 pm

organic io wrote:The prizes are stuff like vst plugins donated by the various plugin authors. It benefits the plugin authors to do this because it gives them a little bit of publicity.


Seems like a great idea, but you would spare out Linux users as there are nearly no VST's published on other OS than Win/Mac.

One idea that came to my mind was to make contests about different genres, e.g. House, Drum'n'Bass, 8Bit, Classical...... and so on. It would be benefitial for everyone to try to produce music in styles he's/she's not already used to, this would expand the musicians repertoire.

And maybe you could make arrangements with music blogs & mags to publish articles and reviews about the music of winners of a compo?? Would be a good way to get publicity for the musicians AND the compo.

But apart of that sdcompo seems to be a quite nice project with a friendly community and I hope to do more submissions here in the future.

I wish you all the best, much luck & have fun while tracking & listening :)

greetings,
star diaries


P.S.: here my favourite trackers of the past, all of them on Amiga platform: OctaMED, Music Line Editor, DigiBooster Pro, Symphonie PRO
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Postby Sonicade » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:33 pm

Thanks for the great feedback Stardiaries. We've actually had genre rounds in the past. It's met with mixed turnouts but it's been enough time to give it another go.

Arrangements with music blogs and mags is an excellent idea. SDCompo was actually featured in Computer Music Magazine at one time. I'll have to keep plugging away on the new site design to pitch to the mags. Thanks for the suggestion!

We do try to keep it friendly and inspiring for everyone here. Writing music is so technical so it helps to have a loose supportive environment to share ideas regardless of your experience level. I hope to keep growing the site as a place where trackers can come to share/enjoy tracks and learn. Guests and new entries are essential so thanks for participating!

Re: past trackers, I'll be giving a talk on the history of tracking and demoscene. I'm going to checkout some of those trackers.
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